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Aymara Pronunciation and Spelling Guide

Welcome to our Aymara alphabet page! The following charts show the pronunciation for the Aymara orthography we have used on our site, as well as some alternate spellings that you may find in other books and websites.


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Aymara Vowels

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Aymara pronunciation:
a    a Like the a in father.
ä  ā, a:, aa  a Like a only held longer.
i  e  i ~ e Like the i in police. In syllables with a q or x sound, this vowel is pronounced more like the a in gate.
ï  ī, i:, ii, e:  i ~ e Like i only held longer.
u  o u ~ o Like the u in flute. In syllables with a q or x sound, this vowel is pronounced more like the o in note.
ü  ū, u:, uu, o: u ~ o Like u only held longer.

Aymara Consonants

x
Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Aymara pronunciation:
ch  č, ç  t Like the soft ch in inch.
chh  č', c'h, ch", ^ç  th Like ch in chair.
ch'  ch’, č', cch, chch, 'ç  t Like ch in chair, but with a catch after it (like ch'air).
j  h, 'h, jh  x Raspy sound like the j in Spanish jalapeño.
k  c, qu  k Like the soft k in skin.
kh  'k, k", cc, qh, ^k  kh Like the hard k in key.
k'  k’, c', k, kk, 'k   Like k in key, but with a catch after it (like k'ey).
l    l Like l in light.
ll  ly  lj Like lli in million.
m    m Like m in moon.
n    n Like n in night.
ñ    ny Like ny in canyon.
p    p Like the soft p in spin.
ph  'p, p", ^p  ph Like the hard p in pin.
p'  p’, pp, 'p   Like p in pin, but with a catch after it (like p'in).
q  c, qu, k, k'  q Like the soft k in skin, only pronounced further back in the throat. This is the same q sound used in Arabic.
qh  'q, q", cc, 'k, kh, kj, ^q  qh Like the hard k in kin, only pronounced further back in the throat. This is the same q sound used in Arabic.
q'  q’, qq, kk, k', k, 'q   Like q, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
r     Like a Spanish r, similar to the tt in English butter.
s    s Like the s in see.
t    t Like the soft t in still.
th  't, t", ^t  th Like the hard t in till.
t'  t’, tt, 't   Like t in till, but with a catch after it (like t'ill).
w  hu w Like w in English way.
x  jj, kj, 'j, ^j X Like j only further back in the throat. The Aymara pronunciation sounds a little like the way some French speakers pronounce their r's.
y    j Like y in English yes.

Aymara Stress

Aymara has less pronounced word stress than English does. In English, unstressed vowels are often weakened to schwas, which makes the stress sound very strong. (An example of this is the word "rebel." When "rebel" is a noun, the stress is on the first syllable and the word is pronounced REH-bəl. When "rebel" is a verb, the stress is on the second syllable and the word is pronounced rə-BELL.) But in Aymara pronunciation, all vowels are pronounced fully regardless of stress. If you weaken an unstressed vowel you may obscure the meaning of the word, so be careful not to do this!

Although stress is less pronounced than it is in English, it is still present. The stress usually falls on the next-to-last syllable of a Aymara word.

Aymara Indian Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   Spanish-Aymara dictionary
   Aymara vocabulary
   Aymara picture dictionary
   Aymara number system
   Aymara alphabet and text
   Aymaras
   Peruvian Indian tribes
   Aymara mythology

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